This blog post was submitted by Hwa Huang. Though he is a long-time member of the local Sierra Club Chapter and is actively working with the Umstead Coalition, the comments below are solely his, and not those of the Sierra Club or the Umstead Coalition.

Now is your chance to help save Umstead Park from a private quarry on public lands.

By now you must have heard about Wake Stone’s proposed quarry next to the Umstead State Park.

Despite the many overwhelming problems facing the city and nation today – the pandemic and the righteous protests against police violence among them – Wake Stone continues to keep pushing forward with their desire to have their quarry next to the state park. Frustrating as it is to have to spend time on this issue with so many others raging, Wake Stone remains relentless.  Once again, this highlights Wake Stone’s lack of care for public well-being as they attempt to avoid public scrutiny.

We want them to know that we are still watching, but we still need your help, now more than ever! There are so many reasons why the proposed quarry will be awful for the state park because of the following impacts (but not limited to them):

  • Polluted water, wetlands, and Neuse River Buffer
  • Wake Stone is trying to avoid getting new industrial stormwater and air quality permits, incorrectly claiming they will not have new sources from their new proposed quarry
  • Blasting noise and vibration in Umstead Park and nearby homes
  • Impaired air quality, dust and non-road truck emissions
  • Reduced safety at Umstead Park entrance to park due to conflicts with mining and logging trucks
  • Inadequate reclamation plan concerning post-mining uses, especially in areas closest to the park


Here is how you can help us:

  1. Take a minute to take this survey, so that we can establish important data for the DEQ to understand just who they will be affecting if this quarry is to take place:
  2. Take 10 seconds to register to speak at the public hearing on June 23, 2020, 6 PM. You should expect to have 2 minutes to talk about why the DEQ must reject Wake Stone’s permit application:  Please register before noon on June 23 – the sooner, the better.

Do not worry about coming up with a script. Email to let the Umstead Coalition know you’ve signed up to speak, and they will reach out to you before the hearing date to work with you on what you will be saying on the big day.

This is likely the LAST chance for public comments to stop the quarry. The public will have little opportunity to comment if this permit is granted. State law gives mines and quarries “life of site” permits, meaning that in most cases, they are automatically renewed – without further public comment.1

[The Umstead Coalition’s lawsuit against the RDUAA “lease” with Wake Stone is still in the courts. Which means it’s in the hands of the lawyers and is NOT subject to any public comment.]

If you have any questions, please email at 

Thank you all for your attention, and we hope that Umstead State Park will continue to have your support.

Hwa Huang

  1. Sorg, L. 2019. RDU officials side with mining interests in clash over Umstead quarry. NC Policy Watch. [Website]. Retrieved from: